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New protocols improve detection of microRNAs for diagnosis
Date:12/7/2011

of blood collection tube affects quantitation. Traditional green-top heparin tubes interfered nearly completely with miRNA detection. Grey-top tubes containing the anticoagulant sodium fluoride and potassium oxalate (NaF/KOx) provided the best results. Although miR-16 is about 500 times more abundant in blood plasma than miR-223, the results for both were similar, indicating that the differences in detection resulting from the choice of collection method apply to other miRNAs. Furthermore, collection of miR-223 in serum yielded more variable results, signifying that for some miRNAs, analysis of blood in plasma form is preferred.

The study indicated that natural components of blood plasma co-purify with miRNAs, interfering with their detection. The authors identified extra steps in purification, and the ideal dilution level, to reduce the interference. "Although counterintuitive, by reducing the starting material, inhibitors were presumed to be diluted below a threshold of interference. Careful titration of starting material yields more accurate miRNA quantitation," explains Dr. Duelli. In another approach, the authors avoided the problem of contamination by combining an enzyme that overcomes plasma inhibitors with standard enzymes to increase the sensitivity of miRNA detection by about 30-fold.

Finally, the authors observed that differences in plasma composition among individual donors yield different miRNA measurements. "These results raise the possibility that factors including diet, exercise, circadian rhythms, and seasons, which alter the blood chemistry, might affect miRNA detection and quantitation," says Dr. Duelli.

"The implications of this work are that without consideration of the variables we have identified, miRNA quantitation of human samples may not be reliable for the purpose of biomarker development. We provide approaches that enable faithful quantitation of miRNA abundance in body fluid," concludes Dr. Duel
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Contact: David Sampson
jmdmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3171
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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